Opponent concedes defeat in Ireland poll
Dublin - Main rival Sean Gallagher conceded defeat on Friday to Michael D Higgins in the Irish presidential election, saying he had called the 70-year-old poet and Labour candidate to offer his congratulations.
"In the last hour I've called Michael Higgins to congratulate him on his performance and his success in this election," the independent candidate said in a statement.
"He will have my full support and I sincerely thank him for a positive campaign.
"His slogan stated that he would be a president to be proud of and I believe he will be that president."
With results in from six of the 43 constituencies, Higgins had 47% of first preference votes with Gallagher on 22%.
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness was on 10% with the four other candidates below him.
The overall turnout was at 58%, the election website showed.